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1  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Trombone jazz Improv? on: Yesterday at 04:27 AM
10 minute solos are definitely a small group/ combo phenomenon. On the horn it requires virtuousity both on the instrument and of the musical understanding of form and structure. More so than that, it requires a pretty sophisticated audience that is willing to sit through it, and is capable of grasping the expression of that virtuosity. It's not a big segment of the music listening public. THere are very few Coltranes out there, and there is not a huge audience for what he sold, as amazingly wonderful as it is. My wife calls it "musical masturbation".
2  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 28, 2017, 07:19PM
I stand corrected. I know from experience that flammable and explosive ranges are pretty concrete, and outside of them combustion is not possible. I suspect the same is true of the Laffer Curve.
3  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 28, 2017, 01:38PM
Exactly. I suspect the break over point is somewhere in the 50% range. It is like explosive and flammable ranges in chemistry. Within those ranges chemicals can be quite volatile. Outside of those ranges, not so much.
4  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 28, 2017, 09:53AM
Can you say "North Korea"?
5  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 28, 2017, 07:06AM
First in a series:

Tax Plan?

In an attempt to fulfill another of “The Donald’s” broken “100 Days” campaign promises, Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, this week announced a “plan” for tax reform that was less than a page in length, and almost completely devoid of details. Someone in the room said, “it could have been written on the back of a cocktail napkin”. Now would be a good time to look back at the destruction wrought on the American economy the last time an economic theory was devised on the back of a napkin.

 

That, of course, was the “Laffer Curve”, the central pillar of the “Voodoo, Trickle-Down, supply-side” economic theory that has since been known as Reaganomics. Nothing has done more to destroy the American Middle Class than the ongoing infatuation of the GOP (Government of Putin, today) with this consistently disproven concept.

 

I’ve heard it called “Zombie” economics because it just won’t die. Drumpf plans to dig it up once again and inflict it on what remains of a dying American middle class. You will hear supporters spewing on about economic growth and how that will offset the revenue lost because those at the top are paying less in taxes. That is the shiny object they use to distract from the actual effects of this disastrous set of policies.

 

One need only look at the reality of the American economy for all Americans both before and after the implementation of “Reaganomics” to see the reality of its destruction. It is not a pretty picture. Let’s look first of all at the “economic growth” at the core of supporters’ arguments. 

 

Economic growth is a historically vacillating phenomenon. At the end of WWII the US economy was, essentially, the “Last Man Standing” as the industrial capacity of the rest of the world lay in ruins. We became the “supplier to the world” of pretty much everything that required manufacturing. This led to unprecedented growth rates over the next 3 decades while the rest of the world rebuilt.

 

As the rest of the world got back on its feet US economic growth began to fluctuate as global competition began to take ever larger market shares in manufacturing and the production of durable goods. That is irreversible. It is a pipe dream to believe that any significant long-term growth will be the result of tax strategy. That is NOT what taxes should be designed to do.

Persist, America.

 

First in a series……….
6  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Apr 25, 2017, 04:48AM
Not even 100 days in and we're already to "What didn't the President know and when didn't he know it? "



What "Trump doesn't know" would fill an encyclopedia.
7  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 24, 2017, 06:17AM
This week's effort;

100 DAYS

One thing we know about the current resident of the White House is nothing he says can be taken seriously. No matter what he says, tomorrow he is going to contradict himself or change his mind. The examples are legion.

We are approaching the 100 day mark of the “Drumpf Travesty”. It’s a good time to start evaluating the boasts  and promises of the candidate in comparison with the actual accomplishments and failures of the Presidency. So far, unsurprisingly, it is not a pretty picture.

Prior to the election, Drumpf put out a “Contract with the American Voter” outlining an ambitious program of activities to be accomplished in the first 100 days of the administration. While he has had some minor successes on some points of his “Contract”, even those have been plagued by missteps and confusion.

He did greenlight the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. But, he also promised it would be built with 100% American produced steel. OOPS! Turns out the steel for the pipeline had already been purchased, and it was produced in Russia, India, and Italy.

Getting his nominee for the SCOTUS confirmed required the GOP (Government of Putin) leadership in the Senate to invoke the “nuclear option”, changing over 200 years of Senate practice and tradition. So, even his successes are tempered with incompetency and evidence of his lack of suitability for the position.

Mexico is NOT paying for the wall, Obamacare is still the law of the land, and his Muslim ban remains an unconstitutional dream according to every court that has ruled on it. China is no longer a “currency manipulator” and NATO is no longer “obsolete”.

As I write this, the Congress is returning from a 2 week Easter recess. Unless they come up with a bill to fund the government before Day 99 on Friday, the government will shut down.

Drumpf is saying he will allow the government to shut down unless funding for the construction of his boondoggle wall is included. Even Republicans recognize the stupidity of that position. They control the Congress and the Presidency. 100% of the blame for a shutdown will fall on their shoulders. It would a disaster for them going into the 2018 mid-term elections.

So, 100 days in, we have the least productive, most incompetent administration in the modern history of this country. They are “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”.

Persist, America!
8  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: What Trump's election means for the rest of the world on: Apr 23, 2017, 09:57AM
They have thousands of artillery batteries in caves on and around the DMZwith the capacity to bombard Seoul into rubble before they can all be taken out. No. Korea would lose any conflict in a matter of days, or weeks, but the civilian losses in South Korea would be staggering.
9  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Apr 21, 2017, 04:01PM
Don't you mean meeting of the mind!  Evil Evil Evil

There's not a whole mind their collectively.
10  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Apr 21, 2017, 04:26AM
You may not be a Trudeau fan (who is),

I am. I would trade in a second and throw in a handful of first round draft picks too.
11  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: What Trump's election means for the rest of the world on: Apr 21, 2017, 04:23AM
To the extent he's considered "calm, sane and measured" he benefits from standing next to Trump. With respect to foreign affairs, he's more stable than Trump. On other issues, he's a bit of a jihadist.

Yes. He is a great example of America's answer to the Taliban.
12  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: What Trump's election means for the rest of the world on: Apr 19, 2017, 02:17PM
From the Guardian:

"Thanks to Donald Trump, the international community now knows that the United States is a force to be reckoned with.

Gone are the days when dictators and allies alike disdained a professorial president who preferred nuclear diplomacy to nuclear war. If only Barack Obama had played more golf at luxury resorts, his successor would not have to bring such golden luster to such a copper world.

Less than 100 days into this presidency, it is blissfully clear what kind of leader Trump is. He has made the awesome transition from a neophyte candidate into a neophyte president; from a man who bluffed and blustered his way in TV debates to a man who bluffs and blusters his way through international crises.

Here is a small-time businessman who knew nothing about foreign affairs, who has grown into a nuclear-armed president who knows nothing about foreign affairs. He used to fire B-list celebrities on TV; now he just fires off Tweets and Tomahawks after watching TV.

That's awesome!
13  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Apr 19, 2017, 04:11AM

That's funny!
14  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: What Trump's election means for the rest of the world on: Apr 19, 2017, 04:10AM
How can you tell Drumpf is lying.........

I have a friend in the US Navy. He deploys to the So.China Sea in a regular rotation. We ALWAYS have a Navy presence in that neighborhood. We just don't usually make it public knowledge.
15  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Jazz Duet Charts? on: Apr 18, 2017, 04:27AM
I was just approached to do a JJ and Kai type quintet ensemble. I have the original JJ and Kai book, but I'm wondering if there are other, more contemporary, charts available out the there for a two trombone fronted ensemble. I know they exist, I just don't know if they are available.
16  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 14, 2017, 01:45PM
Actually, I was born in the US hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. But, point taken.
17  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 14, 2017, 10:00AM
Indeed.
18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Apr 14, 2017, 09:03AM
Back in the USA!! This week's Column;

Drumpf!

I was recently taken to task by a person for whom I have utmost respect and consider a friend. He takes exception to my using our President’s original family name rather than the Americanized version he goes by today.

I understand his point. He comes from a military and police background, and his position is that whether or not you respect the person in a position of authority, the position itself is deserving of respect. I get that. It is the basis for the concept of “chain of command” in the military and of “contempt of court” charges in the judicial system.

He also suggests I might have a better chance of communicating my ideas to those who question them were I to show that respect for the position. Maybe, although, from what I see going on in this country, I don’t see much in the way of open minds or hearts amongst the supporters of our “so-called” President.

That said, I am no longer a member of a paramilitary organization, and I hold that respect in civilian life must be earned, not merely bestowed on a position. And, this President has done little, or less, to warrant the respect the position of the Presidency deserves.

I use “the Donald”’s ancestral name of Drumpf in protest of his hateful and intolerant stance on immigration and acceptance of refugees. It is a reminder that we are all, unless we are native Americans, descendants of immigrants and refugees. Drumpf’s grandfather immigrated here from his native Germany to avoid being drafted into the military. After he made a fortune here running saloons of a questionable variety, he attempted to return to Germany. He was deported as a draft-dodger. A family tradition, evidently.

So, until/ unless I see signs that Drumpf is growing into the job his ego drove him to seek, and is earning the respect the position deserves, I will continue to use his ancestral name.

            *   *   *

Drumpf’s ignorance and ill-preparation for the Presidency was obvious throughout the campaign. There are signs he may actually be waking up to how woefully inadequate his understanding of the requirements of the job is. How many times, and on how many subjects, will we have to hear him say, “Who knew it would be so hard”. Unbelievably sad.

His positions on a myriad of subjects are spinning like the proverbial draedel.

Persist, America.
19  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Sweet Lucy on: Apr 12, 2017, 09:55AM
I was in Bali, and only had my I-pad when I first saw this thread. The next day I was sitting in a restaurant and heard an amazing vocal recording of Sweet Lucy. The Ipad was completely inadequate to try and find out who it was. I haven't found it yet, but I'm going to keep looking. Just ordered the CD.
20  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump Launches Tomahawks Against Assad on: Apr 11, 2017, 08:04AM
If this is true (and most probably it is) that very..."sad".

Yes, at the moment our country is, indeed, VERY, sad.
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